Politics can be a heated topic, no doubt about it, but everyone can agree that we value facts over hearsay. Although the next presidential election is still a little less than a year away, already our newspapers are filled with headlines that leave us with more questions than we began with. "Obama denied" and "Hillary defended" are just a couple of examples of what the headlines have been beginning with lately. It's just the latest drama in the political sector.
||Read the newspaper, but make sure you check a few other sources to get all the facts.|
The situation can be compared to watching a tense boxing match without any physical harm or bloodshed (yet). We are left to watch our future political leaders go at it, boxing gloves in hand.
Don't get me wrong; I am all for some friendly competition. But have we taken the idea of politics and smeared it with crazy tactics? Is being bombarded with opposing attacks in such a grandiose way informing us or just driving us up the wall?
I suppose it begins with our voting system. We hear it every day: someone being cynical about the political system, mentioning why he or she didn't vote and how his or her opinion won't matter anyway. Unfortunately, this is becoming the mindset of many in society, but can we really blame these people?
Politics are supposed to leave us educated and more aware of what's going on in our society, but with the candidates turning into celebrities, it's hard to distinguish what matters and what doesn't anymore. When the "Terminator" himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, ran for governor of California, I can't tell you how many people told me that they would vote for him based on his movie character — smart thinking at work. Ultimately, their votes and that kind of thinking did have an impact, and now California has the Terminator as its governor.
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This is not to say the governor didn't earn it, but votes need to be based primarily on factual information, not the latest box office numbers or magazine-cover appearances. This is rarely the case, but at least you, the public, can take some time to hit the Internet before you hit the voting booth.
Each candidate's specific platform and where he or she stands on each issue will not be spelled out in one article about Obama's problem with Hillary's Middle East stance and vice versa. Even if your vote doesn't go to the winner in the end, you'll know that you made a conscious effort to become educated on the system that is supposed to serve you and your family.
These laws and political changes will affect you, as a working professional, the most, so it's time to take political education in your own hands. The media does its job by bringing you the gist of the situation, but sometimes the drama in campaigns overpowers the simple facts you need to hear to make an informed decision.
Another effective method is to rely on many sources rather than one. Politicians can easily be slightly misquoted, so rely on several articles and sources to provide you with all the details. The more sources you read, the better you can understand what's going on within the politicians' campaigns.
It's really just up to you to get your information and apply it how you please. As a result of obtaining the information, though, you can better educate yourself and rely less on the sensationalism that is far too pervasive in the political realm.